With the Autorama and ISCA Show season kicking off activity will be at fever pitch in garages and shops all around the Detroit area and the country for that matter. Car owners and builders invest considerable time, money and effort in designing, planning and preparing cars to show. However, people still undervalue the products and techniques used in getting automotive paint and finish to look its best. Undoubtedly a sizable portion of your car building funds and probably a large part of car building time was put in body and paint work and that is the first impression that people and judges will get about your car. So, to help everyone here are some tips and ideas for you to ensure you get the most out of your body and paintwork.
One thing we are asked time and time again is how to reduce or eliminate swirl marks in paint. The first thing we recommend is applying Jax Wax’s Swirl Remover Swirl Remover is safe and effective for all multi-stage and clear coat finishes and it works exceptionally well on dark colors and shades of red. It leaves a brilliant high gloss and will not only remove swirls, but also micro-scratches and light oxidation. Swirl Remover also contains Carnauba to add durability for your everyday car and to enhance shine. The following are buffing techniques to use to prevent and reduce swirl marks:
· Minimize swirl by keeping pads clean. Wash and air dry occasionally. Soak foam pads in warm water and ring dry.
· Keep pads separate.
· Match the right pad to the right polishing material. Save time by spot buffing a small area and check results. Experiment with the least aggressive and work up to the most aggressive, if needed.
· Lower RPMs means less friction, less friction means less heat buildup. Try to stay between 1750-2400 RPM when compounding and between 1400-1750 RPM when finishing.
As mentioned earlier the first thing judges and spectators see about your car is the paint finish and quality and that is preparation of this aspect of your car is vital. Here are a few buffing techniques to help get the most out of your paint:
· Paint preparation is vital, not only to the outcome, but to the ease of buffing as well. Give the car a good wash using an automotive specific car wash soap like Jax Wax’s Super Suds and utilize a clay preparation bar to clean the surface of contaminates.
· Work buffer right to left over bead of polish and/or compound. Start slightly on edge then finish flat. Working smaller areas, keep your pace uniform and in "rhythm". Don’t buff in circular motions. That helps contribute to swirl marks.
· Let the weight of the buffer and polish do most of the work. Don't wear yourself out. Work with the buffer, not against it. Keep the buffer in motion to avoid burning.
· Work the car from right to left and don't follow the wheel lip moldings, you will turn the buffer upside down and eat the cord.
· Watch for pad grabbers like antennas, windshield wipers and emblems. The cautious approach is the best approach, mask or remove where possible. Have you ever seen a windshield wiper fly?
· Avoid or mask rubberized body side moldings, you can burn them or stain them.
· Avoid edges by masking or working parallel with the buffer wheel. Work close but not over unless you have a good touch.
One aspect in any car building or preparation project that should never be left out or cut short is safety. The following are a couple of ideas to remember to prevent hurting yourself or others around you:
· Use approved implements for elevating yourself. Five gallon buckets and cheap step ladders can tip or slide on slick pavement, especially when there's a lot of tire dressing on the ground.
· Wear eye protection
· Use a spur to clean your pads, not sharp objects like screwdrivers, etc.
· Keep electrical tools away from standing water
· Stay within recommended RPMs when buffing
Todd Burek is Vice President of Signorello Distribution, Authorized Distributors of Jax Wax Products, 35740 Hawthorne Dr., Clinton Twp. MI 40835 Voice - 586.604.2078 Fax – 586.790.8422. He is also a columnist for The Cruis’ News, The Publication for All Car Buff’s.